With the cabinetmaking industry becoming much more technical, it has grown to the point where it is now viewed as a niche sector of the manufacturing industry.
Much of the technological growth has been driven by advancements in software technology that serves the sector; so much so that business leaders in the cabinet making game have a widespread agreement that we are in the middle of a transitional phase before software rather than cabinet makers runs the manufacturing planning and cycles.
It has already changed to the point where dynamic and multifunctional CNC machines have largely replaced outdated panel saw technology, and in a lot of cases have made obsolete the requirement for a fully trained professional cabinet maker.
This is creating decision dilemmas for the cabinetmaking industry. Knowing that investment in CNC machinery and software is essential, the question to most players is which software is best and at what point is specialised software a better alternative?
Software specialist for the cabinetmaking sector, Planit , has studied the market and found that because cabinet making is in a transitional generation, it is important to combine three aspects - software, machines, and traditional cabinetmaking knowledge, to achieve a profitable commercial outcome for its clients.
Planit sales director, Rees Hughes, says that most cabinetmaking companies are small to medium-sized enterprises that know technology updates are crucial, but most are already working at capacity, so stopping the business to adopt any new set-up fills them with trepidation.
"Virtually all of them are in agreement that CNC machines have superseded panels saws, but the quest to obtain more understanding of software capabilities is the bit that scares them," said Mr Hughes.
"Most of the machine manufacturers for cabinet makers produce their own proprietary software, which is very handy to those first starting out with automation.
"A proprietary software, however, can lock a company into particular brands of machines and can make it a little bit more difficult to absorb new machinery technology seamlessly. This is purely because of the way proprietary software is configured.
"It has been dedicated cabinetmaking software that has opened the gateways to expansion without the headaches as they are written specifically for this level of implementation and adaptation.
"Another tool for this changing industry which can assuage fears is the provision of technical follow-up from people who have extensive experience working on the other side of the fence - the side of the end-user.
"It's challenging enough in the first instance to choose the right equipment and the right software to drive this equipment, but having access to the technical support for ongoing profitable success helps companies expand as needs arise."
Planit’s close and long-standing association with the cabinetmaking industry has the company be sure that panel sawing technology will soon be a thing of the past because CNC machining is many times quicker and is far more efficient.
Hence the organisation is the facilitating software such as Cabinet Vision. In many cases, Cabinet Vision has replaced proprietary software.
"This isn't to suggest that proprietary software is an unworthy product, it's merely that propriety software is created using what can be described as ‘lineal thought’ processes because it is meant to serve that brand of machinery with which it is supplied.
"Cabinet Vision, on the other hand, is wholly and solely written for the cabinetmaking industry and is more dynamic.
“It has taken it to consideration of all different types of CNC machine brands, different sizes of companies using it, all the many types of applications the end user may be required to facilitate, and just about every other ‘what if’ scenario that years of market study unveiled to us.
"But it's not just about the software. With Planit software comes a level of service which is on a much higher plane than proprietary software, and this is purely because machine manufacturers are not set up to provide this high level of technical follow-up.
"Beyond the software it is equally important to maximise service levels for users as without this support the cabinetmaking company may never properly understanding just exactly how much can be achieved.
Engineered wholly and solely for the woodworking industry, Planit software is a screen-to-machine software.
For those workshops automating their businesses with CNC equipment, Planit software is fully integrated with the Planit CNC centre, therefore providing a complete screen-to-machine solution and confirms all parts and part operations before sending data to the factory.
Planit software is easy to set-up for the building of cabinets using favourite joinery techniques. Based on a simple wizard, it allows the creation of unlimited set-ups, mixes various settings per job and changes from one style to another instantly and allows saving of the construction methods for use over and over again.
An operator can customise cabinet sizes, shape, or any construction to suit the customer's needs.
Colours and textures can be selected for the whole room or for individual cabinets and parts. Lighting and reflections can be controlled to bring these designs to life well before any manufacturing has begun.